I was transported to heaven and back last Sunday night.
I listened to the music of Sufjan Stevens. Live.
His music is soft, like a lullaby, and orchestral, with psychedelic interludes that keep the songs from being too fluffy. He sings about kissing his girlfriend who had bone cancer, Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and serial killers. His entire band wore butterfly wings. He wore dragonfly wings. There was a screen behind the stage, probably twenty feet by twenty, that displayed images that made the whole experience grander and more sensual.
His band consisted of six violinists, two cellists, one trombonist, two trumpet players (trumpetists?), a drummer, a bassist/electric guitarist/pianist/backup singer, and another guitarist/pianist/backup singer. Sufjan himself played the guitar, the banjo, the piano, and tinkled fairy bells. They also had another instrument that looked like a miniature piano and sounded like a music box. They all took turns on that one.
The effect of all these sounds made me cry from the glory of the music. Sufjan speaks about God and Jesus in his songs with reverence and awe, a reverence and awe that I believe transfers to his music, even when he’s not explicitly talking about God (which is most of the time.)